Monday, May 14, 2012

Managers: Can You Answer Yes to These 3 Questions?

Any one of us can fall into the micromanaging trap if we're not concentrating on the right things. Micromanaging behaviour is motivated by the fear that your team is not good enough. It can happen to us all at one point or another. Sometimes we forget that our team is highly skilled and trained or we lose sight of the value each team member brings to the team or, we doubt they are personally motivated in their role. Catching and changing this behaviour is sometimes tough but well worth it -your team will thank you in spades. (Read: heightened productivity and stronger engagement.) Start with the following 3 questions.

Ask yourself:
1. Am I confident in my team's talent's, skills and abilities?
2. Do I believe each person brings value to the team's work?
3. Do I trust that each of them will do great work?

Answering these questions helps to get to the bottom of any issues you may be having internally about your team. If you can't answer yes then you need to dig deeper. After you've done some self evaluation, evaluate your company.

Take a look in the company mirror:
1. Did you hire effective and talented people? (I hope you would always say yes here, but it's necessary to ask.)
2. Did your onboard training deliver a blueprint for success and tools to help them be successful? (Remember: Training is not about what was delivered, but what was understood - training may need to be tailored for different learning styles, different department systems, etc.)
3. Does your company support a variety of professional development options (ie: coaching, mentoring, technical training, team development, personal development, etc.) so you can leverage your team's strengths in various ways, maintain their engagement and keep everyone up to date? 

If you can't answer yes to those questions, get some feedback from your team.

Ask your team:
1. What's become easier/more challenging since being hired?
2. How effective was the onboard training program for preparing you for your role?
3. What kind of professional development (from the list above) would be helpful in your role today?
4. How can I empower you to do your best work?

Rebuilding trust and believing in your staff is absolutely necessary to ending micromanaging behaviours. It's also the key to building an empowered and engaged team. When you ask questions you move from a critical and competitive mindset into a collaborative mindset.

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